Ideas are often powerful and bountiful for creative people. However, when it comes to execution of those ideas many artists come up lacking. For many of us the bridge between an idea and a reality is a tough one to cross with many obstacles. And this bridge can be tough to navigate, even if you are motivated and accountable.
what is accountability?
Accountability is being held responsible. It’s as simple as that. Although, because it is that broad of a topic or idea it can be a source of many possible outcomes or uses. Accountability can be found by having a class, school or job that requires you to get things done. While those sources of accountability can be excellent motivators, they are not always excellent sources of creativity. Often times you are fulfilling someone else’s idea or coursework. For your own ideas it is often best to be done on your own or with like-minded people.
How do i do that?
That is a great question with infinite possible answers. Over the years I’ve heard many ideas to implement in order to hold yourself accountable. Some of them very innocent and easy ideas like writing down goals or having accountability groups. I’ve also heard crazier ideas like writing a check to a charity or organization you hate and giving that envelope to a friend with strict instructions to mail the check if you haven’t finished the project by a certain date. None of these ever seemed all that appealing to me while I’m sure that there are plenty of people that it does work for. I am always trying new ways to finish the projects I've started and so below I've included a 10 step process that has been working for me this year.
1) Pick a project you're passionate about
The only way for accountability to truly work is to give yourself something to work for that you really want to do. Don’t just pick a project that you are only into half-heartedly. You have to use passion as a catalyst or else the project will never be completed.
2) Write down the end goal in detail
Be as detailed as possible in what your project looks like, sounds like, feels like when its completely finished.
3) Plan backwards
Start at the end. What does a finished product look like. Then, spend time breaking it apart into every possible thing you can think of that will need to get done for this to happen. Once you have the broken parts, break the really big parts into subdivisions. I.e. If you need to write 60 pages, break them up into 12 five page increments.
4) Pick an end date
Pick a realistic day that you would like this project completed by.
5) dust off your planner
Either digital or physical. I like to use a physical planner because I enjoy crossing things off my list. (I like this physical planner from Amazon.) Write every portion you will need into a planned schedule. Do it in pencil because this will change.
6) divide all items into weeks
What would you need to get done each week to hit your goal? Write that down in the weekly portion of your calendar. These will be bigger goals because you have 7 days to accomplish them.
7) create your daily goals
In your planner or calendar write down what you need to get done each day to make this happen. Be sure to give yourself days off as well as plan time for work, meetings, fun things. Be super realistic about this. Change comes slow, so allow yourself time.
8) Allow for change
Don’t get depressed if you don’t hit your goals. Be happy that you are forwarding yourself. Things take time and life happens. Just let it be. Change things as needed.
9) Keep positive
Try to remain positive about this process. It can be frustrating at times, but the more you allow for the frustration and see the process in a positive way the more successful you will be.
10) Treat Yo Self
Give yourself a reward every time you are successful along the way. Promise yourself a decadent sundae if you achieve everything during the week or a short trip when you finish your project. It can be small or large, but give yourself a reason to do the work. Invest in yourself!
If you want more on accountability and finishing projects you start download the Call To Content podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Call To Content is a short show that promotes motivation, accountability and hopefully inspires lots of content!